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'Hell On Wheels' Season 3 Finale: Train Calling In The Distance

October 5th, 2013 10:24pm EDT
Hell on Wheels
Well, I knew that the Mormon girl that Bohannan slept with earlier in the season would have significance later on. She looked far too young for Bohannan, and sleeping with her, when she came to him, didn't quite seem in tune with his gentlemanly style.  I thought it was an indication that he was no longer courtly, that the death of Lily had liberated him, and that was true enough ...

But in the season 3 finale tonight, we find out a much specific reason: she's pregnant with Bohannan's baby (she says she's 18, by the way), and Bohannan figures that marrying her would be a way of getting out...
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'Hell on Wheels' 3.9: Shoot Out and Truths

September 28th, 2013 11:03pm EDT
Hell on Wheels
Hell on Wheels 3.9 had one of the best old Western best shoot-outs I've seen on television in decades, as Cullen, Elam, Durant, and even that woman in town go to it with a bunch of men in long coats and guns on horses bent on getting Cullen.

Why?  We learn at the end that the men are led by the Mormon who manipulated his own son into being hung by Bohannan.   That hanging already almost resulted in Bohannan being deposed from the railroad, and it's now it's on the verge of costing him his life.  We saw the father's face at the beginning of the episode.  It looked familiar, but I didn't get...
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'Hell On Wheels' 3.8: Canterbury Tales

September 21st, 2013 10:36pm EDT
Hell on Wheels
A rare Hell on Wheels 3.8 tonight, in which Bohannan, though he's very much in evidence and action, does not play the morally pivotal role.  That would belong to the McGinnes brothers, and their story provides another powerful example of the ethical intensity and raw drive for self-preservation that typified life out West on the rails.

Sean McGinnes didn't do that much wrong in Hell on Wheels, at least not from what we've seen with our own eyes on the show.  He lied on behalf of his patron Durant in the hearing that almost removed Bohannan from the railroad.  He enlisted his brother Mickey...
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'Hell On Wheels' Review 3.7: Water, Water

September 15th, 2013 6:16am EDT
Hell on Wheels
"Water, water every where, and all the boards did shrink; water, water, every where, nor any drop to drink," the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote in the "Ryme of the Ancient Mariner" in 1798. And that's an apt description of tonight's Hell on Wheels 3.7 taking place less than a hundred years later - including the shrinking of the board that was attempting to railroad Bohannan out of the railroad last week.

The water is undrinkable because it's carrying cholera.  And the pursuit of potable water (for some reason, I like that word) by Bohanan is the main spring of the story tonight.   He f...
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'Hell on Wheels' 3.6: The Man in Charge

September 7th, 2013 11:09pm EDT
Hell on Wheels
A helluva Hell on Wheels 3.6 tonight - the best of this already excellent season - with a double game-changing twist and an appearance by Ulysses S. Grant, on his way to becoming President but currently Secretary of War, which is far more than a cameo and in fact plays the crucial pivotal role.

Most of the episode is devoted to the unfolding of Durant's crafty plan - to get Bohannan to admit, one way or the other, that he's a killer as well as a railroad man, and therein get him to resign if the board doesn't fire him.  The one flaw in his plan is that Grant is part of the panel that hears...
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Hell on Wheels 3.5: The Glove

August 31st, 2013 11:36pm EDT
Hell on Wheels
Well, my favorite scene in tonight's altogether excellent Hell on Wheels 3.5 is when Elam feeds his baby girl - just recovered from the kidnappers - with a glove full of doe's milk, slain by Cullen for that purpose.  The scene almost had a biblical splendor, even though it was life in the wild, being civilized, a big ocean away in America.

The episode was full of powerful scenes.   Eva in the water, being consoled by Ruth, who had a story of her own ... Psalms trying to beat the truth out of the New York Irish copper who's in Hell on Wheels to get the baby that he's sure is his slain broth...
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'Hell on Wheels' 3.4: Extreme Lacrosse

August 25th, 2013 4:01pm EDT
Hell on Wheels
Well, we learned something very interesting Hell on Wheels 3.4 last night - the Kiowa played a mean game of lacrosse, in which losers were beaten to death.

This in turn provides an occasion for an important moral moment for Cullen and Elam.   Cullen knocks down one of his Kiowa opponents, but can't bring himself to kill him as the Kiowa rules and expectations require.  The chief understandably takes umbrage, and gets ready to burn Cullen and Elam.   Tied to the stakes, Elam can't believe that Cullen, who has killed so many, would sacrifice his and Elam's lives for the principle of not kill...
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'Hell On Wheels' 3.3: Talking And Walking

August 18th, 2013 2:41pm EDT
Hell on Wheels
Hell on Wheels 3.3 starts with a great little piece of anonymous media history - Bohannan smashing his finger as he hammers in the electrical connection at the top of a telegraph pole alongside the railroad. Telegraph and rail went up hand in hand in the middle of the 19th century, the partnership between communication and transportation - between walking and talking - that has always characterized our life on this planet.  The smartphone, which allows you to talk anywhere you may walk - or drive, or fly, or train - is but the latest embodiment of this coupling.

The telegraph connection pl...
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'Hell On Wheels' Star Anson Mount Talks Season 3 Of The AMC Series

August 9th, 2013 11:15am EDT
Anson Mount in Hell on Wheels
We were fortunate enough to catch up with Anson Mount on the phone to talk about AMC's hit series Hell on Wheels. For the few of you who don't know, Hell on Wheels is a Western television series in its third season. Set in the 1800's, the series centers on the settlement that accompanied the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, referred to as "Hell on Wheels." Anson plays the main character, Cullen Bohannan, a former soldier and extremely determined man on a hunt to avenge his murdered wife and son.

The series is averaging three million viewers an episode and is gaining pop...
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